Background reading on sustainable business

the ecology of commerceThe world’s best known leaders in business sustainability have highlighted that the sustainability journey is one of continuous learning and there’s certainly a large volume of background reading available on the topic.

To highlight the importance of reading up, check out this punchy 3 minute film featuring Ray Anderson of Interface carpets. He talks about how his journey started with the help of a book called, ‘The Ecology of Commerce’ by internationally renowned author, Paul Hawken (also co-author of ‘Natural Capitalism’).

So to get you started, here’s just a handful of useful books on sustainable business. In time, this page will include a summary of each of these resources, to help you find what you think would be most useful in your context.

Books on sustainability

top50 sustainability books

  1. The Top 50 Sustainability Books, University of Cambridge (Greenleaf Publishing, 2009).
  2. Accounting for Sustainability: Practical Insights, Anthony Hopwood, Jeffrey Unerman and Jessica Fries (eds.) (Earthscan, 2010).
  3. Cents and Sustainability: Securing our Common Future by Decoupling Economic Growth from Environmental Pressures, Michael H. Smith, Karlson ‘Charlie’ Hargroves and Cheryl Desha (Earthscan, 2010).
  4. Making Sustainability Work: best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts, Marc J. Epstein (Greenleaf Publishing, 2008).Making-Sustainability-Work-Epstein-Marc-J-EB9781609944353
  5. The Green Scorecard: Measuring the Return on Investment in Sustainability Initiatives, Patricia Pulliam Phillips and Jack J. Phillips (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011.
  6. The Green Executive: Corporate Leadership in a Low Carbon Economy, Gareth Kane (Earthscan / Routledge Publishing, 2001).
  7. The Step-by-step Guide to Sustainability Planning, Darcy Hitchcock and Marsha Willard (Earthscan / Routledge Publishing, 2008).
  8. The Sustainability Handbook: the complete management guide to achieving social, economic and environmental responsibility, William R. Bakcburn (Earthscan, 2009).
  9. Sustainability: The Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century, Dexter Dunphy, Jodie Benveniste, Andrew Griffiths and Philip Sutton (eds.) (Allen & Unwin, 2000).sustainability handbook
  10. Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability: A Guide for Leaders and Change Agents of the Future, 2nd edition, Dexter Dunphy, Andrew Griffiths and Suzanne Benn (Routledge, 2010).
  11. Sustainability Unpacked: Food, Energy and Water for Resilient Environments and Societies, Kristiina A. Vogt et al. (Earthscan, 2010).
  12. Design for Environment: A Guide for Sustainable Product Development 2nd edition, Joseph Fiksel (McGraw Hill, 2012).